This week's Economist discusses the continued existance of the glass ceiling. According to the article, in 1995 women held 45.7% of America's jobs, were recieving over 50% of all master's degrees, held less than 5% of all senior management positions and that female managers made 68% of what male managers made. Today women hold 46.5% of jobs, and make up just over 10% of seniors managers. From 68% pay gap, we're now at a mere 72%.
And it's not just an American thing.
“Among the well-heeled battalions of executives”, she wrote, “only 5% are women.” Equality in the French workplace, claimed Ms Maier, “is a far-off dream.”
This despite the fact that Catalyst research "found a strong correlation between the number of women in top executive positions and financial performance among Fortune 500 companies between 1996 and 2000."
The management consulting business blames maternity leave (as does the legal business. Read "Women Lawyers" for an in-depth discussion of why women don't perform as highly as men in the legal profession). The article cites not only maternity leave, but 1) lack of women being in the club - networking, etc; 2) a perception that women aren't good leaders and 3) a change in corporate structure, which means promotions are a bigger deal; since women tend to take time off to care for both their children and parents, they have a hard time re-entering the work force or moving up to much higher positions.
Another theory floated is that men work more, and are at home less. This means they help out with chores less. I wonder if Spain's new law will help women advance in the Spanish workplace?
Anyway, interesting read. It brings up a lot of issues about workplace discrimination, preganncy, and societal support of motherhood. I find it interesting that in a society that apparently reveres motherhood (and looks down on women who choose abortion) that there isn't more support in being a good mother and a successful businesswoman at the same time.
p.s. An article on maternity leave in the US & other industrialized countries (via disenchanted forest)